Social Networking or Social Venerating?

I really enjoy social networking. It is real-time real life interaction with people all around the world. Those who understand social media, feel the freedom to express their thoughts within the limitations of just a sentence or two. It is immediate interaction and connection with people, and most of us have never even met in person!

It only takes a matter of minutes of being online before you find someone you relate to, someone who connects with you. The thing I love the most about social media is that it makes me focus on the moment, challenges me to find the small impressions of my day, notice and evaluate them. These are moments that may have slipped by without a glance only a few years ago. Not now. Not any more.

Latte’s and Chocolates

For every 10 status updates that I post, there were probably 100 moments that I could have posted in an update but chose not to. It’s not the fact that I didn’t post those moments, or blogged about them, but just the fact that I choose to take notice of those moments of my life, to imprint the memory of them in my brain, is what I find significant. Social media has taught me to embrace my moments, to find the significance in my minutes of the day and cherish them. I notice the sparkle in my daughters’ eyes. I treasure the value of a charitable action. I find the joy in a lunch date with my husband. Thanks to Twitter, I appreciate how much a piece of chocolate or a latte’ can lift up my spirits on a day that I would have otherwise considered a disaster.

Are You the President of Your Own Fan Club? (PYOFC)

The ones who do not understand social media, the ones who consider it to be just another form of advertising, or a way to peddle their wares, are missing out on a precious gift of connection, a valuable form of communication. And those who set themselves up on social media as President of Their Own Fan Club (PTOFC) really do not understand the purpose of social networking at all! If you think we take the time to engage in social media just so we can boost your ego, then you are wrong. Social media is about social networking, thus the word “networking” which means engagement, interaction and communication. That usually requires a two-way connection, not one-way adoration; otherwise why don’t we just call it Social Venerating? After all, isn’t that all some folks want? Social accolades? Social networking is not a popularity contest. Come on, most of us couldn’t stand it in high school, let alone carry it with us throughout the rest of our lives. Isn’t it time we all grow up? Social networking is not about an individual; it’s about the individual within a community and how we all work together as a community to bring about change to the world. It’s about the big picture and how we as people each fit into that big picture.

It’s About Community

That’s why I listen on Twitter. That’s why I engage on Facebook. That’s why I am Linked In. I realize that even though it isn’t about me, I am here for a purpose. I live and breathe every day for a reason. If it is only to be the best mom, wife and person I can be, then that’s great. I will be a content and fulfilled human being at the end of my journey. But my “take away” from social networking is that it has taught me to embrace my minutes along the way. Life is not a destination; it is a very long series of moments. I am at a destination every day, and if I don’t stop and take notice of it, it will pass me by. If I don’t take time to delight in the small jewels in my day, how will I ever fully appreciate the “diamonds” of life? Life is not about the “big” things. While they are precious gems in our collection of memories, we can’t withhold our joy of living from ourselves because we are waiting for the next landmark experience to occur. They may be few and far between.

I am learning to embrace my moments, to find value in the minutes and days that God has given me, and am finding how to make the most of every moment. While some days are more challenging than others, I know that I am not alone in my experiences. I just click on to Twitter and find an entire community of people who are going through similar experiences. Then I go and get myself a latte’. I also grab a piece of chocolate, respond to my Tweeples and end my day with an “LOL.” After all, isn’t that what it’s about?